Meet Tantuvi's Arati Rao & Adam Sipe

Tantuvi rugs are designed in New York and hand woven in India. Tantuvi works with cottage industry artisans to create each of piece, each of which is yarn dyed in small batches and hand woven on panda looms in the Rajasthani desert. Their flat-weaves have a modernist approach to the traditional dhurries of India.


How and why did you start Tantuvi? 

I worked for years in the fashion industry and hit a bit of a wall, there’s so much waste and real disconnection with the process. I started working with an Ikat weaving co-operative in South India and the rugs started soon after. I quit my job in 2010 Jan and we took off in Feb to travel in India for most the year, I reconnected with my ancestral roots and did research along the way. We visited different artisans and communities that do everything from weaving, block printing, to pottery. Soon after that trip, Tantuvi came together.


Tell us a little about your product origins, your fantastic travels to oversee production of your work and how it defines your brand process and experience.

We work directly with a couple of weaving communities and support cottage industry artisans. One of the communities we work with have been weaving since the 17th century, so it’s pretty amazing to visit the village. I think the process is one of the most important details of our brand; Tantuvi means weaver in Sanskrit, as without the weaver our work wouldn’t be possible. I feel we need them as much as they need us. They are so incredibly talented and bring our vision to life so effortlessly, I always feel such an appreciation to be able to work with them. 


If there was a song to describe your new collection it would be: 

Colour Me In by Broadcast

What part of your process do you get lost in, or never tire of? 

I never get tired of putting colors together and playing around with the rug compositions. And of course, our production trips!

Five things inspiring or influencing your design and creation process right now:

  1. Collage

  2. Helen Frankenthaler

  3. Arctic Desert landscapes

  4. Global Warming

  5. Malachite

What’s on the horizon for this year? 

We are launching a couple things for the Bath, which I am very excited about.

Desert fragments on the loom.jpg
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